For those who have been to Japan and come home craving for really authentic Japanese cuisine, fret no more. The world’s first Japan Food Town has opened its doors in Singapore's Wisma Atria. The premise includes 16 outlets, a dynamic mix of Japanese food from different prefectures, all to be opened by August 2016. 50% of the ingredients are imported directly from Japan, some on a daily basis, to ensure freshness and to retain consistent flavours in the artisanal food.
We were thrilled to be invited to the media launch for Japan Food Town. While touring the man-made land of the rising sun, we were greeted by the rich heritage and culture of Japan, with displays such as Japanese fans, cutleries, Japanese-drawn murals as well as a ceiling of washi paper to represent the rising steam of hot food.
The event was opened with a performance by Hayate, featuring The Yoshida Brothers, showcasing their talent by playing traditional Japanese music on two-string Japanese banjos. It was a real treat for those who haven't been to Japan and are interested in the less mainstream Japanese culture.
Of course, friendly waiters handed out ice cold Kirin Ichiban beers during the event to keep us hydrated.
After the electrifying performance by the trio of talented individuals, we started our food tasting session to fill up our rumbling stomachs. Here are 7 truly outstanding Japanese dishes that caught us by surprise with its unique and authentic flavours:
If you are craving for Japanese food but you are in a rush, Bonta Bonta (#04-39), the first stall upon entering the Japan Food Town, would be an ideal on-the-go japanese food to get. They serve different flavours of Onigiri such as Tuna Mayo, Fish Roe etc.
With a huge Maguro being the centre of attraction, Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka (#04-43) is a modern japanese cuisine, with an aim to deliver best quality seafood to diners. We were served a maguro sushi with jellified shoyu sauce and fish roe topped with rice. The team created the jellified shoyu sauce with the aim of allowing the customers to enjoy sushi with shoyu at its right proportion.
When you’re in Japan Food Town, try their sakes! Imported from Yamaguchi prefecture, sakes from Dassai (#04-52) carry a pleasant aroma, producing a sweet, fruity note. The cleanliness and smoothness of the sakes depends on the fineness of the milled Yamada-nishiki brown rice. If you’re not into sakes, Bar Nippon specialises in japanese cocktails. Papaya smoothie is one of the newest creations using okinawa pineapple sake, papaya and other flavourings. It was a waste we are not able to have cocktail tasting sessions but we are sure the mixes will be good.
4. Wagyu Beef
The highlight of the night comes from Osaka Kitchen(#04-46), where we were served a sample of the highly praised Ohmi Wagyu Beef Steak.
Every trip to Japan will come with plenty of trips to a ramen hole-in-the-wall to savour a bowl of piping hot broth and noodles. So it is no surprise that Japan Food Town would also serve it. We each received a small sample sized ramen to try. The small cup of ramen had a very rich and flavourful broth and noodles with the perfect consistency. You can pick the broth flavour, noodle texture.
6. Chicken Karaage
This is a dish that is perfect to have with that ice cold Kirin that I was talking about just now. Though it is fried, the chicken karaage here isn't drowning in oil and comes with a variety of sauces.
7. Shabu Shabu
For some reason, Japanese wagyu beef is just so much better than any other beef. And this meat is in no shortage here at Japan Food Town. It is so fresh and available at quite a number of the outlets.
The night spent at Japan Food Town was very well-spent, savouring on fresh and delectable dishes and we can't wait to go back!
“I believe that through offering Singapore a truly authentic Japanese dining experience without those exorbitant prices, customers will appreciate a real sense of Japanese hospitality. We call this Omotenashi, where you will be warmly welcomed and respected” (Mr Yoshikawa, Managing Director for Japan Food Town Development Pte Ltd)
Japan Food Town Wisma Atria Level 4 www.japanfoodtown.sg